Mayor Ed Lee touts tech growth in San Francisco 

click to enlarge Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston, center, and employees listen to Mayor Ed Lee as he speaks at the company’s new China Basin headquarters at 185 Berry St. on Wednesday. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston, center, and employees listen to Mayor Ed Lee as he speaks at the company’s new China Basin headquarters at 185 Berry St. on Wednesday.

As the tech company Dropbox opened a massive new China Basin headquarters Wednesday, Mayor Ed Lee touted the news as further proof of The City’s growing image as a tech capital.

Dropbox — which offers cloud data storage services for users of personal computers — joins firms such as Twitter, Zynga and Salesforce as part of the mayor’s effort to portray San Francisco as the “innovation capital of the world.”

“You really do represent, in my opinion, the most exciting job creation that we have,” Lee told the company’s 100-plus employees.

Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston said he was happy to play a part.

“We couldn’t think of a better place to call home,” Houston said of his new 87,000-square-foot office at 185 Berry St. overlooking AT&T Park and San Francisco Bay. The firm’s cavernous new office space has room to expand to about 500 workers.

Lee said he hoped to help increase the company’s business by highlighting its services both nationally and internationally.

“You’re part of a very successful growth industry for our city, and the revenues are looking better and better every time we get a six-month report,” Lee said. “And a lot of it has to do with the contributions of companies like yours into our tax base. And if I can return the favor by making sure you can grow, we’ll have that many more people that are employed in your industry.”

With government budgets getting hit hard at the local, state and national levels, Lee said San Francisco had to depend on its local companies to dig its way out.

“The years in the past where we kind of waited for state and federal funds — no longer there,” Lee said.

“I know only one way … have a solid relationship with the businesses who want to grow, and who want to employ, who want to help make The City successful,” Lee said. “That’s how we’re going to do it. And we’re going to do it on our own, and we’re going to do it with your innovation.”

Lee acknowledged some have worried he may be putting too much focus on tech companies.

“Some people have said, ‘Ed, make sure it’s not a not a bubble, and make sure you’re paying attention to other things,’ and we are,” Lee said. He specifically noted work strengthening The City’s biotech, tourism and health care sectors.

Meet Dropbox
Founded in San Francisco: 2007
Users: More than 50 million in  175 countries
Current employees: More than 100
New headquarters: 87,000 square feet

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Ari Burack

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